To Fast Eddie Felsen, a young pool hustler, there was only one thing that mattered: to make the big time and the big money in the world of pool by beating the best in the country. Hustling suckers in small towns for good stake money was practice for his goal and when he felt ready he went to Bennington's pool hall in Chicago to look for Minnesota Fats. Eddie and Fats pit nerve against skill in a fantastic match over an unbroken thirty-six hours. This contest shows Eddie some things he did not know about guts, stamina and "character" -- the difference between winners and losers, and it proves a hard and painful lesson to learn. It takes an interlude with Sarah, an alcoholic student and a born loser, to give the lesson meaning, and the shrewd advice and backing of Bert, a professional gambler, to put it into practice. Bert knows that talent without character is nothing and stakes Eddie to a climactic return match for all or nothing. When it is over, Eddie knows a great deal more about big-time pool, about money, and about himself. In beating Fats he has become the best in the country.
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'This book sees the poetry of the pool game ... Fast Eddie's ascent up the ladder from pool shark to full-time hustler is the story of the will to power, told in cool fifties style' Guardian 'Tevis writes a stark, cut-down prose that admirably suits his tale of people who live on the edge of desperation in fifties Chicago' Irish Times 'If Hemingway has the passion for pool that he had for bullfighting, his hero might have been Eddie Felson' Time 'A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance' Time OutBook Description:
The inspiration for the legendary Paul Newman film, THE HUSTLER is a hardboiled tale of a beautiful talent for life in smoky poolrooms.
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